Daily Archive : Friday December 27, 2013



    Court ruling mixed bag for company, tax collectors

    The state Supreme Court agreed Hartney Fuel Oil Co. should get back $23 million in taxes it was ordered to pay after it moved its headquarters to a small village without a local sales tax. But in the bigger picture, the court sided with tax collectors, agreeing state law didn’t permit firms to avoid taxes through such maneuvers.

    Naperville firefighters battled an apartment fire Friday afternoon on the 1400 block of Fairway Drive.

    No injuries in Naperville apartment building fire

    No one was injured in a fire at a Naperville apartment building Friday that left more than $250,000 in damage and three of the apartments uninhabitable, authorities said. Firefighters responded just after 2 p.m. to the 1400 block of Fairway Drive and found smoke coming from the roof of the building, officials said, and as crews entered the building, they reported smoke on the buildings’ upper...


    Baby Jesus figurine stolen in Batavia

    A baby Jesus figurine was stolen from a Batavia front yard just a few days before Christmas, authorities said. According to police, the theft occurred at 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 22 on the 500 block of South Forest Avenue. A resident of the home said someone inside saw a man take the decoration from the front yard and run away.

    Eddie's bar in Arlington Heights is hosting “Jeopardy!” watching parties in honor of native son Jerry Slowik.

    Arlington Heights security guard appears on “Jeopardy!”

    Jerry Slowik says he's always been good at taking tests, from his perfect score on the SAT in high school to the near-perfect 34 he earned on the ACT. Some 10 years later, the Arlington Heights resident is on TV and making money for being so good at answering questions — or in this case — giving his answers in the form of a question.

    Three generations of firefighters — firefighter/paramedic John Loesch Jr. of the Rolling Meadows Fire Department (right) works with his father, John Loesch Sr., and former Rolling Meadows firefighter Ted Loesch, grandfather.

    Moving Picture: Firefighting in Rolling Meadows rookie's blood

    John Loesch Jr. might be a rookie firefighter at the Rolling Meadows Fire Department, but his name is well-known at the fire house. His grandfather Ted Loesch worked in the department for 38 years, and his father, John Sr., is still on the job. He gets his fair share of the grunt work being the new guy, but firefighting is in his blood.


    Retired teachers sue state over pension law

    A group of Illinois school administrators and retired teachers filed a class-action lawsuit Friday seeking to have the new law aimed at eliminating Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall thrown out, a long-anticipated move that is expected to delay implementation of the sweeping measure.

    Job seekers check out companies at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend.

    1.3 million lose unemployment benefits Saturday

    Restoring up to 47 extra weeks of benefits through 2014 would cost $19 billion, according to the Congressional Budget office.House Democrats led by Reps. Sander Levin of Michigan and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland sought to include an extension through March by offsetting the costs with potential farm bill savings. They were rebuffed.


    Lutheran General finds, stops bacteria source

    Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge is asking patients who had a specific procedure earlier this year to be screened for a potential infection that’s highly resistant to antibiotics. It's assuring the general public that the procedure has now been made completely safe.

    A worker assembles a Boeing Co. 777 airplane last May at the company’s production facility in Everett, Washington.

    Union chief says Boeing’s latest offer a $1 billion gain

    Boeing has vowed to build the company’s new 777X airplane in the Puget Sound if the Machinists agree to the new contract.

    Aircraft move down the assembly line at Beechcraft in Wichita, Kan. Textron Inc., the parent company of Cessna Aircraft, announced Thursday, that it has reached an agreement to buy Beechcraft Corp. for approximately $1.4 billion.

    Textron: Too soon to say if Beechcraft faces cuts

    Textron Inc.’s CEO said Friday that his aviation company’s $1.4 billion purchase of Beechcraft Corp. will require “restructuring and optimization of costs.” But how the deal will affect thousands of employees at Beechcraft’s home base in Kansas, and elsewhere, remains unclear.

    Different strains of pot are displayed for sale Friday at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary in Denver.

    Denver distributes recreational pot sales licenses

    The licensed sellers went through a state and local licensing process that included public hearings to ask neighbors about shop locations. Owners also underwent more than a dozen fire and building inspections for each shop.


    Gambler rewards cabbie who returned $300,000

    A poker player who left $300,000 in the back seat of a Las Vegas taxi made good on his promise this week, handing over a $10,000 reward to the honest cabbie who returned the stash.

    This evidence photo, contained in a document titled “Sec 15 - Firearm Survey - Enfield,” is part of a report of an investigation released by the Connecticut State Police, Friday. It shows the weapon used to gun down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.

    Police file: Newtown gunman was obsessed with violence

    In a letter accompanying the files, Reuben F. Bradford, commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, wrote that much of the report was disturbing but that it also showed teachers trying to protect their children, law enforcement officials putting themselves in harm’s way, and dispatchers working calmly and efficiently.

    A towing company worker prepares Friday to pull the mangled wreckage of a car driven over a Palos Verdes Peninsula cliff by a 19-year-old Los Angeles man in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

    Driver survives 300-foot plunge off cliff

    PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. — A driver who plunged 300 feet off of a Southern California ocean cliff was rescued after firefighters waded into the surf to free him from the car.KNBC-TV says the 19-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition and told paramedics that he intentionally drove of the cliff in the Bluff Cove area of Palos Verdes Estates.

    Demolition crew member Patrick J. O’Reilly died after concrete fell on him and two colleagues Thursday night while they worked outside Westfield Hawthorn shopping center in Vernon Hills, authorities said. O’Reilly and the others were working for Wheeling-based P.S. Demolition Inc. at the mall’s southwest entrance, where Maggiano’s Little Italy is replacing Ruby Tuesday.

    Worker dies from injuries at Vernon Hills mall

    A man working as part of a demolition crew died hours after he was hit by falling concrete from a facade at Westfield Hawthorn shopping center in Vernon Hills, authorities said. Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd said Patrick J. O’Reilly, 25, of Palos Park, died from multiple crush injuries Friday morning at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

    Ralph Portwood, president of the employees union at Stateville prison in Crest Hill, says the intake situation poses a security concern because inmates there are being held in groups instead of two to a cell. The Associated Press has learned that hundreds of inmates are sleeping in a gym, the health care unit and in “staging areas” next to bus garages.

    Stateville intake center focus of prison crowding

    Inside what could be Illinois’ most important correctional facility — its main inmate intake center — hundreds of newly convicted prisoners are sleeping in a gym, a health care unit, converted common spaces and “staging areas” next to bus garages after they arrive from county jails, The Associated Press has learned.

    Alexis Valdez

    No bond for teen accused in decapitation

    Bond was denied Friday for a Chicago teenager charged with murder after prosecutors said he killed his aunt’s boyfriend, cut off the man’s head and left it on her bed as a Christmas present.


    U of I graduate makes naming-rights donation

    The University of Illinois has announced the first donation to secure naming rights for a section of its basketball arena in Champaign. Alumnus John Giuliani, CEO of ValueClick Inc., has committed to paying $5 million for naming rights to a planned 10,000-square-foot premium seating space called the Traditions Club.


    Cheetahs kill white-tailed deer at National Zoo

    No witnesses saw the deer entering the cheetah habitat — other than the cheetahs.Deer are plentiful in Rock Creek Park, which borders the zoo. The National Park Service has used sharpshooters to control the deer population.

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, center, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing investigating the growing epidemic of sexual assaults within the military. The number of reported sexual assaults across the military shot up by more than 50 percent this year.

    Military sex assault reports jump by 50 percent

    According to the latest numbers, the increase in reports across the services ranges from a low of about 45 percent for the Air Force to a high of 86 percent for the Marines, the smallest service. The Navy had an increase of 46 percent and the Army, by far the largest military service, had a 50 percent jump.

    Carol Berman

    3 longtime Buffalo Grove employees retire

    Buffalo Grove has bid goodbye to three longtime employees. Deputy Building Commissioner Carol Berman, Deputy Village Clerk Carol Lieber and Deputy Public Works Director Rick Kuhl were honored at a recent village board meeting.

    Kevin and his son, Tyler Armstrong, 7, after reaching the summit of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada, Calif. On Christmas of this year Tyler, now 9, became the youngest person in recorded history to reach the summit of Argentinaís Aconcagua mountain.

    American boy, 9, youngest to reach Aconcagua summit

    Aconcagua’s previous record-holder was Matthew Moniz of Boulder, Colorado, who was 10 when he reached the summit in 2008. There was one younger boy who climbed the lower slopes of Aconcagua, Garcia noted: An Inca boy was sacrificed some 500 years ago at 16,400 feet on Piramide, one of the mountain’s lower peaks. Scientific tests on the mummy, recovered in 1985, put his age at about 7.


    State police to give concealed carry update

    Illinois State Police plan to let the public know what they can expect as concealed carry of firearms comes to the state. State police plan a news conference Monday in Chicago, where they’ll outline the application process.


    Recycle holiday lights in Mundelein

    Mundelein area residents can recycle old holiday lights at several locations from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through Jan. 31.


    Part of Thompson Center evacuated

    Illinois State Police say nothing was found after the concourse of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago was evacuated due to a suspicious package.

    Stevenson High School officials want to withdraw from the Special Education District of Lake County.

    Stevenson High wants to leave Lake County’s special district

    Lake County’s regional board of education soon could decide if Stevenson High School can withdraw from a cooperative agency that provides special-education services.


    Cook County sheriff’s patrols watching for DUI

    Cook County Sheriff’s Police will be conducting significant enforcement efforts in coming days, focusing on DUI violators and seat belt violations. Sheriff’s Police will conduct DUI enforcement on the night of Saturday, Dec. 28, in county patrol areas. On Jan. 3 and Jan. 4, Sheriff’s police officers will be conducting extra patrols focused on seat belt enforcement.


    Swine flu detected in Illinois

    Flu viruses are spreading in Illinois, and the leading strain that’s being detected in lab tests is H1N1. That’s the same “swine flu” strain that caused a pandemic in 2009. This year’s influenza vaccine protects against the H1N1 strain, and vaccine supplies are good.

    Former Geneva alderman Sam Hill is trying to find the recipient of a lost Christmas present.

    Who in the Sam Hill can claim gift lost in Geneva?

    Samantha, were you expecting something from your uncle for Christmas, in Geneva? Former alderman Sam Hill may have it, as a lost gift turned up in his yard.

    Garth Gaskey, 82 of Brookfield, Wis., emerges after taking a cold swim in Lake Michigan during the annual New Year’s Day Polar Dip at Bradford Beach, Wis.

    New Year’s Day polar plunges could be extra frigid

    The coldest temperatures are expected in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in a band across upper New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine, said Denny VanCleve, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. High temperatures there will likely be in the single digits Wednesday, he said.


    Suspect in Pa. jewelry robbery arrested in Chicago

    Chicago police have arrested a man who is suspected of taking part in a $1 million jewelry robbery in western Pennsylvania.

    Hanover Township Welfare Services Director Mary Jo Imperato and Township Trustee Howard Krick display the toys collected during the 2013 township toy drive.

    Hanover Township toy drive benefits local families

    More than 730 families received gifts this year as a result of the Hanover Township Toy Drive and Sponsor-a-Family programs, officials said.


    Cook County clerk to do 1st marriage of 2014
    Cook County Clerk David will preside over the first Cook County marriage of 2014, at about 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2. A tradition for more than 20 years, Orr marries the couple who get the first marriage license of the year, who also get gifts donated by local businesses.


    Police: No beer led to ceramic squirrel stabbing

    The Charleston County Sheriff’s office says in a report that officers found a man covered with blood when they arrived at 44-year-old Helen Williams’ North Charleston home early Wednesday. She told investigators the man fell and cut himself, but she couldn’t explain why her hands and clothes were also bloody.

    Artist Christine Thornton, left, of Mount Prospect helps 6-year-old Amelia Raymond of Long Grove write an inspirational message as kids made snowman cards to send to Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago during an art program at Vernon Area Library District in Lincolnshire Friday.

    Artist helps make cards for children’s hospital

    Kids had the chance to create artwork and spread holiday cheer Friday at the Vernon Area Library District in Lincolnshire. Children in kindergarten through second grade worked with artist Christine Thornton of Mount Prospect to create New Year’s greeting cards for kids at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “It’s a nice chance for them to give back to kids who are having a...

    State officials say work on the Route 83 bridge over Salt Creek in Villa Park will involve joint and structural steel repairs. The project will cost more than $416,000.

    Bridge projects planned for DuPage, Kane

    The state has announced plans to spend more than $10.1 million on separate bridge projects in Kane and DuPage counties. The largest of the two projects will replace the bridge carrying Indian Trail Road over the Fox River in Aurora. Meanwhile, more than $416,000 will be spent repairing the Route 83 bridge that spans Salt Creek in Villa Park.


    Island Lake talking gambling

    Video gambling machines are banned in Island Lake, but village officials may reconsider their stance on the controversial issue.

    Algonquin leaders have put out an early call for artists to sign up for the seventh annual Art on the Fox festival. Village leaders are pushing early registration for the June fest to see if artists are interested in applying early and securing a discount to do so.

    Algonquin’s Art on Fox seeking early signups

    Hoping to attract talent for Algonquin’s summer Art on the Fox festival, officials have put out a call for artists to register now and get a discount. Early-bird registration expires Jan. 15 and comes with a $25 discount on booths that typically cost $135. Art on the Fox is an outdoor, fine arts show held at Riverfront Park, scheduled for June 14-15. “We’re doing some push right now to see if...

    Arcada Theatre organist Jim Shaffer, of Aurora, plays a short set before local band 8-Track opens the show for Scottish heavy-metal band Nazareth at the St. Charles theater in April. Shaffer, who died in November at the age of 78, had been volunteering at the theater as an usher and organ repairman for over 30 years at the Arcada through all its changes in management. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he learned how to play the organ and became the theater’s one and only organist. “There’ll always be a void,” Arcada President and CEO Ron Onesti said of Shaffer. “There isn’t one person who has been more of a part of the Arcada Theater than that man. It’s like losing a piece of the foundation. The music just won’t be the same. The music will never be the same.”

    2013: The year in photos

    As 2013 comes to a close, we would like to share some of our photographers’ favorite pictures of the year. The photos on this page (and there will be more coming tomorrow, with a focus on high school sports) run the gamut from the humorous to the poignant.

    The DuPage County Forest Preserve District will sponsor its “Hard Water Classic” ice-fishing tournament Jan. 11 at Blackwell Forest Preserve near Warrenville.

    ‘Hard Water Classic’ coming to Blackwell Forest Preserve

    Ice-fishing enthusiasts can test their skills and compete for prizes in the “Hard Water Classic” tournament from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Blackwell Forest Preserve on Butterfield Road just west of Winfield Road near Warrenville.


    Have fun at Lakewood preserve near Wauconda

    Kids of all ages are encouraged to attend a free outdoor play date on Jan. 20 at the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.


    May Whitney pupils in ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr.’

    Students at Lake Zurich Unit District 95’s May Whitney Elementary School will be performing “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr.” onstage next month. Fourth- and fifth-graders from May Whitney will perform at Middle School North on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 4 and older. Children 3 and younger are free.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole four tires and chrome rims between Dec. 14 from a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in an apartment lot on the 1800 block of West Palm Drive in Mount Prospect. Value was estimated at $2,000.

    Associated Press A federal judge on Friday found that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal and a valuable part of the nation’s arsenal to counter the threat of terrorism.

    N.Y. judge rules NSA phone surveillance is legal

    A federal judge on Friday found that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal and a valuable part of the nation’s arsenal to counter the threat of terrorism. U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion that the program “represents the government’s counter-punch” to eliminate...

    “Tragedy to Triumph,” a sculpture Naperville artist Paul Kuhn is creating to memorialize victims of a 1946 train crash in Naperville, will be made entirely of recycled railroad parts. The $60,000 sculpture is set to be dedicated April 26, 2014, one day after the 68th anniversary of the crash.

    1946 train crash to be memorialized in Naperville sculpture

    The 45 people who died almost seven decades ago in a train crash in Naperville are set to be memorialized next spring as a public art group unveils a sculpture by a Naperville native and railroad subcontractor. “People coming together to help each other is really what I want to focus on,” artist Paul Kuhn said.

    Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest raised $548,000 this year for charities that work to end child abuse and domestic violence. The festival has raised more than $14 million in 26 years.

    Naperville's Ribfest to donate $548,000 to charity

    More than $500,000 will be making its way to the bank accounts of 52 Naperville-area nonprofits and social service agencies as a result of last summer's Ribfest. The festival drew more than 150,000 people over five days for fireworks, music and 13 varieties of ribs. Organizers this week said it raised $548,000 for groups that work to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.

    Ashley and Victor Atalla push their car through Lisle’s Four Lakes neighborhood after April flooding devastated portions of DuPage County.

    Our photographers share some of their favorite images of 2013
    The Daily Herald's DuPage County photo staff share some of their favorite pictures of the year.

    Marklund is hoping to pursue a $4 million expansion of a school on its Bloomingdale campus. But the proposal is facing opposition from neighbors concerned about the additional traffic the project may create.

    Marklund proposal faces opposition in Bloomingdale

    Concerns about traffic have prompted Bloomingdale's plan commission to recommend the village board reject a proposal by Marklund to expand a school for children with autism.

    In this Dec. 24, 2012 photo, volunteer Katherine Beaupre takes phone calls from children asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their house,during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    NORAD Tracks Santa logs 19.58 million web visits

    PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa-tracking program logged 19.58 million unique visitors to its website on Christmas Eve. NORAD said Thursday that volunteers answered 117,371 calls from children seeking information on the jolly old elf’s whereabouts. First lady Michelle Obama was among the program’s 1,200 volunteers.

    In this Saturday, Dec. 14 photo, a makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn.

    Police file on Newtown shooting to be released

    The planned release Friday of thousands of pages of police documents from the investigation into last year’s school massacre in Newtown could shed additional light on the world of the 20-year-old gunman. State police said their report totaling several thousand pages would be released at 3 p.m.

    Dr. Marianne B. Budzeika

    Northwest suburban pediatrician remembered as pioneer

    Dr. Marianne Budzeika, one of the founding medical staff from Northwest Community Hospital and one of its first female pediatricians, has died. "She was the most determined and persistent women you'd ever meet," says her only daughter, Karen Slora of Palatine.

    President Barack Obama, left, stops and turns to respond to Ju Hong who heckled him about anti-deportation policies at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. Obama stopped his speech about immigration reform to let Hong, who was located directly behind Obama, speak and to respond to his questions. South Koreans were delighted when Obama asked the young Korean heckler to stay, rather than ordering him removed. “I wish we had that kind of president who listens to the opinions of the minority,” says Kim Jin-hwan, a 32-year-old baker from Seoul. “I was very jealous.”

    America in 2013: Impressions from around the world

    How have events of the past year — namely the U.S. government shutdown, the NSA spying eruption and the conflict in Syria — helped shape the world's view of America? Associated Press reporters asked that question of people across the world.

    Cloudy skies shroud the Capitol in Washington, Monday morning, Oct. 14, 2013 as Senate Democratic and Republican leaders remained at odds over spending in their last-ditch negotiations to end the government shutdown. At a time when many people say that the political system and societal institutions aren't working, the news in 2013 provided multiple sources of confirmation, both at home and abroad. It was the year when things broke down — or at least it often left many people feeling that way.

    2013: The Year of Dysfunction, Discord and Distrust

    At last, the damage done by an agonizing global recession was easing. A bitter U.S. presidential election was finally over. And as 2013 began, it seemed the year might bring news headlines offering the public some reassurance or relief. Instead, the year's headlines were often filled with tales of dysfunction, discord and misplaced trust that added distressing new chapters to an already too-long...


    Dawn Patrol: Carjacking suspect possibly eluded Libertyville police

    Libertyville police investigate whether they nearly had carjacking suspect. Car fire spreads to Inverness home. In-home caregiver came back to save Naperville couple in fire. Foul play not suspected in forest preserve death. Sprinkler system puts out Glendale Heights apartment fire. Veteran Stevenson teacher mourned. Ex-pro wrestler to open Elgin sports bar. Carpentersville picks volunteer of the...

    In this Oct. 1, 2013 file photo, Chicago Blackhawks players watch as their Stanley Cup Championship banner is lifted to the rafters during ceremonies before an NHL hockey game between the Blackhawks and Washington Capitals in Chicago. The story was voted as one of the top 10 stories in Illinois for 2013.

    Pension fix, gay marriage top 2013 Illinois news

    The Illinois General Assembly’s much delayed agreement on fixing a $100 billion pension funding shortfall was the overwhelming, nearly unanimous choice among Associated Press members and staffers for the top story of in the state in 2013. It was another busy year in Illinois, with the December pension vote highlighting a string of important measures passed by lawmakers, including gay marriage,...

    A protester wearing a U.S. flag over his mouth demonstrates with others in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, July 18, 2013 against their government’s rejection of the asylum application of U.S. citizen Edward Snowden who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs. Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright once dubbed the United States “the indispensable nation.” But the world watched America stumble through a string of crises in 2013.

    A bumpy 2013 erodes America’s ‘superpower’ status

    To many around the world, it made little sense: The world’s most powerful government, so mired in dysfunction that it couldn’t operate. The world’s defender of individual freedoms, accused of spying on its citizens and friends. But as the world watched America shamble through a string of crises in 2013, the notion of the U.S. as an unflappable leader began to seem ever more quaint.

    This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the HealthCare.gov website on a computer screen in Washington. The White House had hoped the Oct. 1, 2013 launch of open enrollment would be a showcase for the upside of Obama’s much-debated overhaul. Instead, the website became a symbol of dysfunction. The site gradually improved, but a wave of cancellation notices from insurers undercut Obama’s oft-repeated promise that people who liked their existing coverage could keep it.

    Obama health care overhaul top 2013 story

    The glitch-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was the top news story of 2013, followed by the Boston Marathon bombing and the dramatic papal changeover at the Vatican, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.

    Gov. Pat Quinn acknowledges the applause after signing the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality for same-sex couples, on Nov. 20. The law takes effect June 1, 2014.

    State politics in 2013: Year in review

    When 2013 began, Democrats were looking at historically large majorities in Springfield, not to mention a new cast of suburban members of Congress. With 2014 upon us, it’s a good time to ask: So what happened? The answer: A lot.

    Rachel Duff, left, gave longtime friend Mandi Davis a kidney in November. It wasn’t a direct donation, however, because Duff’s kidney wasn’t a match for Davis. Instead, they took part in a six-person transplant chain.

    Longtime Geneva friends encourage kidney swaps

    Would you give a kidney to a friend? Would you give a kidney to a stranger, hoping that a friend of that stranger would donate a kidney to your friend? Two Geneva women relate how a transplant chain enabled one of them to save the other's life, even though they weren't a match.

    Goats provided a cheaper alternative than humans to help clear unwanted brush from a Naperville park.

    DuPage County’s top animal stories of 2013
    In DuPage County, 2013 was a year where we talked a lot about deer, horses, turtles, birds and, yeah, a missing dragon.

    Former Schaumburg police officers Matthew Hudak, Terrance O’Brien and John Cichy.

    Stories of the year in Northwest Cook County

    Here's a look at some of the top stories this year in the Northwest suburbs. They include the Schaumburg police scandal, another round of severe flooding along the Des Plaines River and the opening of the first new enclosed mall in the Chicago area in more than 20 years.

    I caught this eagle heading south along the Fox River presumably looking for a good fish lunch.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of December 23rd.



    Zion-Benton gives Larkin a taste of its own medicine

    Athletic Larkin thrives via the fast break, but the Royals were beaten 78-72 by a taller version of themselves in a semifinal of the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs Friday night. In what might have been a preview of the Class 4A DeKalb supersectional if each highly regarded team goes on to win its respective sectional, Zion-Benton (12-2) overcame an early deficit with a 14-0 second-quarter run fueled by 10 fast-break points.


    Friday’s wrestling scoreboard
    Here are the varsity boys wrestling results from Friday as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Friday’s girls basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Friday's varsity girls basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Friday’s boys basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Frisday's varsity boys basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Hersey gets it done

    Hersey coach Mary Fendley has guided the Huskies into their share of championship games at the Wheaton North Christmas Tournament.But never did they reach the final game the way they did Friday night. Trailing Lyons Township in the semifinal by 18 points with under 6:30 remaining, the Huskies rallied for a 65-60 overtime triumph.


    Karlis, Montini laugh all the way to the bank

    Montini senior Kelly Karlis had to laugh at her own shot. She wasn’t alone, which was OK, because the Broncos got the last laugh Friday night.


    Aurora Christian reaches Plano semifinals

    Plano Christmas Classic: Aurora Christian won its 3rd straight at the Plano Christmas Classic, defeating Newark 62-53 for a spot in Saturday night’s semifinal against top-seeded Ottawa.


    Wheaton Academy advances to Lisle semifinals

    Some missed free throws late made things a little scary, but in the end Wheaton Academy prevailed Friday night in large part due to a great start.


    Hoffman Estates defeats St. Francis

    As they used to say in pickup basketball games, Hoffman Estates’ Jorden Thornton had next.


    It’s a keeper, as Rolling Meadows makes title game

    It was fitting that the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team played a nifty game of keep-away with the basketball while protecting a big lead in the final minute of Saturday’s semifinal of the Montini Tournament. That’s because the Mustangs were also able to keep Trinity away from the lead when the Blazers made their big comeback in the second half. Meadows led by 15 points at intermission but the previously undefeated Blazers charged back to within 41-40 with two minutes left in the third quarter. The Mustangs, however, shut the door with a 9-0 run and never looked back in a 65-52 victory. Meadows (14-1) returns to the title game of the 16-team tourney and will face Montini (14-1) at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the championship game.

    Washington running back Bishop Sankey gets a lift from teammate Mike Criste after rushing for a touchdown against BYU during first half of the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday in San Francisco.

    Washington beats BYU in Fight Hunger Bowl

    Bishop Sankey ran for 95 yards and two scores to tie Washington’s career touchdown record and the Huskies went on to beat BYU 31-16 in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night.


    Grant wins twice at Marengo

    Ryan Noda scored 24 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, as Grant’s boys basketball team made it two wins on one day Friday, capturing a 67-59 decision over Woodstock in a semifinal of the E.C. Nichols tournament at Marengo.

    Guard Billy Garrett Jr., left, celebrates with guard Brandon Young after hitting the game-winner in DePaul’s 57-56 victory against Northwestern Friday night in Evanston.

    DePaul beats Northwestern at the buzzer

    Billy Garrett Jr. scored the game-winning basket as time expired to lift DePaul to a 57-56 win over Northwestern on Friday night. A 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left had given Northwestern (7-6) a 56-55 lead. Sandi Marcius finished with 12 points and Cleveland Melvin added 11 for DePaul (8-5).


    Make it 39 more for Gallimore in victory over Latin

    Paige Gallimore was at it again Friday. Antioch’s senior guard scored 39 points, as the Sequoits pulled away from Latin 66-42 in second-round action of the Lisle Cage Classic on Friday.


    St. Edward advances to Lisle semis

    St. Edward 41, Hampshire 34: Katie Swanson scored 17 points and St. Edward was able to hold off Hampshire’s fourth-quarter rally to win in the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic quarterfinals. The Green Wave (9-4) play Antioch at 6:30 p.m. today in the semifinals. Madelyn Spagnola added 8 points and Clarissa Ramos had 7 for the Wave.“This win came from our team defense,” said St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson. “Hampshire made a run and we were able to hold them.”Sara Finn led the Whip-Purs (6-5) with 16 points.Fremd 58, Huntley 34: Ali Andrews led Huntley (12-3) with 17 points in the Red Raiders’ second straight loss at the Montini tournament.Cary-Grove 64, Lake Forest 32: Katie Barker had 13 points and Sarah Kendeigh added 10 to lead the Trojans (11-5) at the Mundelein tournament.Streamwood 41, Lake Zurich 37: Hannah McGlone had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Holly Foret added 14 points to lead the Sabres (5-6) at Mundelein. Streamwood will play Cary-Grove today for the consolation championship.Harvest Christian 48, St. Benedict 36: Morgan Lockwood scored 16 points and Kylee Knox had 15 points and 9 rebounds to lead Harvest (6-2) at the Alden-Hebron tournament.Jacobs 50, Waubonsie Valley 42: Carly Sidor had 14 points and Jenn Barnec 11 to pace the Golden Eagles (3-12) at the Wheaton North tournament.Glenbard North 34, Elgin 31: Abby Pierre-Louis scored 9 points to lead the Maroons (3-9) at Wheaton North.Joliet Central 62, Larkin 44: Victoria Patterson (13 points), Alyssa McGhee (11) and Quixmia Washington (10) led Larkin at the Oswego East tournament.


    Fremd’s fine finish stops Naperville Central

    For 3 quarters, Naperville Central controlled its semifinal boys basketball game against Fremd in the Wildcat Hardwood Classic at Wheeling on Friday. But the unbeaten Vikings turned the tide in the fourth quarter and came away with a 44-37 victory, which puts them in tonight’s 8:45 championship game against St. Viator.


    McAuley surives frantic finish vs. Barrington

    With just 17.6 seconds left and down by 2 points to Mother McAuley, Barrington’s girls basketball team inbounded the ball and sprinted down the court in enough time to pull up and look for the open player. Kelly Katis got the ball and saw an opening, splitting defenders on the left side of the basket for what seemed like a sure game-tying basket. But it wasn’t to be, as a third Mighty Mac player slid in and was able to get her hand on the ball and knock it away after a lot of contact and a no-call. That ended the comeback attempt for the Fillies who fell 56-54 on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the 31st annual Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown.


    Prospect tops Stevenson

    Prospect cruised out to a 27-point lead at half before defeating Stevenson 69-41 Friday night in the Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown. Up by 10 points after the first quarter, Prospect (12-1) looked to be getting into rhythm offensively. And even though the Patriots’ Melanie Despinich hit a quick 3-pointer to open the scoring in the second, it was all Knights from there.


    Andersen scores 1,000th point for Aurora Christian

    Aurora Christian senior Alyssa Andersen scored the 1,000th point of her high school career Friday against Rochelle on the second day of the Dixon Christmas Tournament.

    Fenton’s Bradley Leffew, left, looks to pass around Montini’s Matt Brachmann, right, during the 12th annual Glenbard West Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament.

    Montini stops three-game slide

    Earning what Montini boys basketball coach Brian Opoka called “a necessary win,” his Broncos denied a Fenton team that really could use one.


    Mundelein advances to tournament finale

    For a Mundelein girls basketball team that won only a handful of games last season, learning to win is still a skill the players are working on. Holding big leads is part of that learning curve. Friday night in the semifinals of the Mustangs Holiday Classic Tournament, Mundelein took one more step forward in the process against Conant. The hosts jumped out to an 18-point cushion in the second half only to see the scrappy and feisty Cougars bring it back to just 4 points. But in the end, the Mustangs showed resolve and hung on for a hard fought 57-51 win over Conant and a spot in Saturday night’s title match. Mundelein (9-5) will face Grayslake North for the championship at 8 p.m.; Conant will take on Vernon Hills in the third-place contest at 6:30 p.m.


    Burlington Central heads to Plano semis

    Burlington Central 75, Yorkville 64: Duncan Ozburn scored 22 points and had 9 rebounds to lead the Rockets (9-2) into the semifinals of the Plano Christmas Classic, where they will face Morris at 8:30 p.m. today. Sean Fitzgerald and James Raney each had 13 points for Burlington Central.“We came out and played really well in the second half,” said BC coach Brett Porto, whose team led just 33-32 at halftime. “Ozburn had a really good game inside tonight.”Cary-Grove 49, Lakes 34: Cary-Grove jumped to a 10-0 lead and relied on defense to avenge a 6-point road loss to the Eagles on Dec. 13 with this victory at the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs Friday.Jason Gregoire scored 26 points to lead the Trojans (6-6) into the consolation championship game against South Elgin at 4:30 p.m. “It was a really good team win,” Gregoire said. “It was a big win because we lost to them before so we really came out with a chip on our shoulder. We really wanted to win this game. I thought we locked down on defense and that was the reason why.”The victory was the third straight for the Trojans, who limited their opponent to a season-low 34 points for the second straight game.“Defensively, we got back and we didn’t want to press,” Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “We just said let’s be good, be solid in the half court and not let them penetrate. We switched all screens and they really couldn’t attack us very well. And we got on the glass. The first time we played they just murdered us on the glass.”Junior guard Tramone Hudson led Lakes (4-8) with 11 points. The Eagles will face Crystal Lake South for seventh place at 3 p.m.“The first 3 games (of the tournament) we’ve shown some good things, but this was a setback, obviously,” Lakes coach Chris Snyder said. “Being a young team, we just weren’t ready for Cary-Grove in terms of energy. We’re still learning those little lessons in the big picture of things.” Hampshire 64, Harlem 63: Down by 6 points with 2 minutes left in overtime, Hampshire stormed back to win its second straight on the final day of the Chuck Dayton Tournament in DeKalb. Ryan Cork led the Whip-Purs (5-8) with 30 points. Matthew Bridges scored 9 for Hampshire and Trey Schramm had 8.St. Edward 67, Perspectives Charter 61: DaVontae Elam scored 23 points and Joseph French added 15 to lead the Green Wave (12-1) at the IC/Westmont Tournament. Nick Duffy added 11 points and Danny Favela had 10 for St. Edward.Wauconda 63, Westminster Christian 50: Brad Barker had 16 points and Sam Carani added 12 for Westminster (6-7) at the E.C. Nichols Tournament in Marengo.Chicago Alcott 64, Streamwood 51: Cole Seger had 17 points to lead Streamwood at the Wheeling tournament.

    St. Viator’s bench celebrates a 3-point shot against Prospect at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Friday.

    St. Viator strides into Hardwood final

    Athleticism. Depth. And the two of the best shooters around. All that and more makes St. Viator the dynamo it is this season, and the Lions (12-1) continued their winning ways Friday night in an impressive 65-50 semifinal win over Prospect at the Wheeling Wildcat Hardwood Classic. The Knights (8-5) are the only team to be St. Viator this year, back on Nov. 29 at the Lions’ Thanksgiving Tournament. St. Viator meets Fremd for the tournament title tonight at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, while Prospect meets Naperville Central for third place at 7:15 p.m.

    Oak Park’s Emery Lehman looks up at his time after competing in the men’s 5,000-meter race during the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials on Friday in Kearns, Utah. Lehman came in second place.

    Suburban teen going to Olympics

    Olympian Jonathan Kuck dominated the men’s 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials Friday night, while Oak Park's Emery Lehman finished second to punch his ticket to Sochi.

    St. Francis’ Reagan Sproat grabs a rebound against Coal City during the Lisle High School girls basketball Holiday Cage Classic.

    Coal City stops St. Francis

    St. Francis played a scrappy game but couldn’t overcome a bad third quarter in losing to Coal City 38-32 at the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic.

    Patrick Sharp’s 3 goals Friday against the Avalanche at the United Center give him 10 in the last nine games and 21 goals this season.

    ‘Old man’ looking real Sharp

    The Hawks got 3 goals from Patrick Sharp on his 32nd birthday in a 7-2 rout of Colorado to stretch their lead in the division over the Avs to 11 points. “The guys were giving me some heat about turning 32 years old, saying I was an old man, so I had to go out there and prove them wrong,” Sharp said.


    Benet can’t get shots to drop, falls at Proviso W.

    The only thing worse than Benet’s offensive effort on Friday was its timing. The Redwings’ boys basketball team struggled to score throughout its game against Providence St. Mel, and it wound up costing Benet a spot in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament quarterfinals after a 54-50 loss in Hillside.


    Simeon outlasts St. Charles North in 3 OTs

    Alec Goetz was almost speechless after the most extraordinary competition of his basketball career against four-time defending Class 4A boys state champion Simeon. “That game was crazy,” Goetz simply said. In one of the most memorable games staged at the home of the first holiday basketball tournament in the nation, St. Charles North was on the cusp of one of the greatest upsets in years. But it was not to be.


    Vernon Hills claws past Niles North

    The Cougars are clawing and growling again, and loving it. The Vernon Hills Cougars boys basketball team, that is. They improved to 10-3 and will play for fifth place at 3:45 p.m. Saturday in the Wildcat Hardwood Classic at Wheeling against Deerfield. But their 62-56 win over Niles North on Friday validated their credentials after a demoralizing loss the day before to Naperville Central, a regular in the tournament final four for many years.

    The Blackhawks say goalie Corey Crawford is making great progress and he may travel with the team this weekend but he won't play.

    Crawford making ‘good progress’

    Corey Crawford is making such good progress from his groin injury that he might travel to St. Louis with the team for Saturday’s game. Crawford won’t play, however, head coach Joel Quenneville said.


    Macahon, Palatine pick up another win

    Chris Macahon could not have received a better 17th birthday present Friday night in the 40th annual Jack Tosh Tournament at York. Macahon intercepted a three-quarter length pass from Elk Grove’s Anthony Bianchini’s with 4.8 seconds left to preserve Palatine’s 54-41 win in the tournament’s second round.

    Burlington Central’s Sam Cruz shoots over a block by Dundee-Crown’s Lauren Lococo in the second quarter on Friday.

    Burlington Central handles Dundee-Crown

    Burlington Central’s girls basketball team got the message. Loud and clear. After a horrid shooting night against Mother McAuley on Thursday, Rockets’ coach Mark Smith made it clear he expected his team to take a more aggressive approach to the painted area of the basketball floor — and he didn’t mean the 3-point arc. Yes, everyone knows the Rockets love to launch 3s, and when they’re going in BC can put up a lot of points. But Smith wanted his team to show some aggression taking the ball to the basket on Friday when the Rockets took on host Dundee-Crown in the 31st annual Charger Classic. And, boy, did the Rockets pay attention to their coach.Central scored a whopping 52 points either in the paint or on free throws as the result of fouls called in the paint and beat D-C 56-42.


    Grayslake North breathes a sigh of relief

    Only a short time on the bench so she could catch her breath, after she had Grayslake North defenders huffing and puffing, could stop Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith from scoring the basketball. Enter Knights guard Kendall Detweiler, who provided suffocating defense. And in the end, Grayslake North could breathe a happy sigh of relief after surviving a 30-point effort from Smith and pulling away from Vernon Hills for a 61-53 win in a semifinal of the Mundelein Mustang Holiday Classic on Friday night.


    Carmel stops Jacobs, to play for title

    First-year Jacobs boys basketball coach Jimmy Roberts isn’t into moral victories. But the Golden Eagles’ boss liked his team’s effort despite a 63-53 loss to Carmel Catholic in semifinal action of the Hinkle Holiday Classic hosted by Jacobs Friday night. Jacobs (5-4) will play Larkin for third place at 6 p.m. while Carmel (10-2) will tangle with Zion-Benton for the title at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.


    Hersey splits a pair at Pekin

    Alex Mueller made a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left, which provided just the cushion Hersey need in tournament play at Pekin on Friday. That’s because Peoria Central hit a 3-point just 3 seconds later — but the Huskies were able to absorb the last-gasp shot and win 58-57. In their second game of the day, the Huskies fell 52-44 to Lake Zurich.


    Huntley will play for Elgin consolation title

    The consolation championship wasn’t what the Huntley boys basketball team had in mind coming into the 38th annual Elgin Holiday Tournament. But that is what the Red Raiders will have to settle for playing for Saturday. Huntley never trailed and cruised past Corliss, 68-48, on Friday evening to advance to the consolation championship game.

    Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt holds up the ball as he celebrates his rushing touchdown during the third quarter against Minnesota on Friday in the Texas Bowl in Houston.

    Syracuse rallies late to win Texas Bowl

    Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse to a 21-17 Texas Bowl victory over Minnesota on Friday in Houston.


    Elgin comeback falls short in semifinals

    A thrilling second-half comeback turned into a heartbreaking loss for Elgin on Friday night in a semifinal game against Harlan at the Elgin Holiday Tournament. Down 16 at halftime, the Maroons battled back to take a 4-point lead with 35 seconds remaining, only to watch it slip away in a 66-65 loss. Elgin will play Glenbard North Saturday for third place.

    West Aurora’s Roland Griffin drives for a basket Friday at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

    Walker, Griffin pace West Aurora rout

    Te entire complexion of the game was altered in less than a minute. West Aurora four-year starting guard Jontrel Walker had a roughly 45-second sequence that cashiered the Peoria Manual hopes for a Final Four berth at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament Friday afternoon. Walker had steals on four consecutive Manual possessions late in the third quarter; the senior turned the thefts into three simple buckets, hit a short jumper for his eighth point in the run and fed Matt Dunn with a no-look pass for another easy deuce three seconds before the period ended.

    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has posted his seventh 1,000-yard season of his eight in the league and has already tied his career best with 11 touchdown catches, sixth in the league. He’s tied for fifth in the NFL with 94 catches.

    Marshall, Forte picked for Pro Bowl

    Wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Matt Forte will represent the Bears in the Pro Bowl, but second-year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was not selected despite a breakout season that includes 86 receptions for 1,341 yards.


    Andronov’s hat trick powers Wolves

    Left wing Sergey Andronov recorded his first American Hockey League hat trick as the Chicago Wolves defeated host Lake Erie 4-0 at Quicken Loans Arena.

    Taj Gibson was a hit on and off the court during the Bulls’ Christmas trip to his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y

    Bulls’ Gibson has a gift for giving more

    Bulls forward Taj Gibson has been full of gifts this season. He scored a team-high 20 points against Brooklyn on Wednesday after spending Christmas Eve on a New York shopping spree to help stock his toy drive. “Christmas Eve, I was just running all over the place,” Gibson said Friday. “I went around to a whole bunch of GameStops. One GameStop I bought at least 10 Xboxes. I was looking for PlayStation 4s all over the city."

    Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp celebrates his goal during the first period of Friday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center.

    Sharp’s hat trick leads 7-2 rout of Avalanche

    Patrick Sharp scored three goals for his third career hat trick and set up one of Jonathan Toews’ two scores to lead the Chicago Blackhawks past the Colorado Avalanche 7-2 on Friday night. Sharp, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Friday, has 21 goals this season and 10 in his past nine games. He scored twice in Chicago’s previous game, a 5-2 win over New Jersey on Monday.

    St. Francis’ Carley Pasquale battles Coal City during the Lisle High School girls basketball Holiday Cage Classic.

    Images: St. Francis vs. Coal City girls basketball
    St. Francis played Coal City in girls basketball action during the Lisle Cage Classic holiday tournament on Friday.

    Images from Marmion vs West Chicago during the third place game at the 86th Annual Chuck Dayton Holiday Basketball Tournament at Dekalb High School Friday December 27, 2013.

    Images: Marmion vs West Chicago boys basketball.
    Marmion played West Chicago for third place at the DeKalb Tournamentl Christmas tournament on Friday, Dec. 27.


    Wheeling legs out a win for Hernandez

    In tournament play at Warren, Wheeling had to come up with a last stand as the Blue Devils had the ball with five seconds left and was trying to tie the game with a bucket. But Wheeling forced Warren into an off-balanced shot and came away with a 33-31 win. The Wildcats improve to 8-7, including 3-1 in the tournament.

    The St. Viator bench celebrates a three-point shot against Prospect at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Friday in Wheeling.

    Images: St. Viator vs. Prospect boys basketball
    St. Viator and Prospect competed in the semifinals of the Wheeling boys basketball tournament on Friday, Dec. 27.

    Fenton’s Bradley Leffew, left, looks to pass around Montini’s Matt Brachmann, right, during the 12th annual Glenbard West Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament.

    Images: Fenton vs. Montini boys basketball
    Fenton played Montini in boys basketball action at the 12th Annual Glenbard West Holiday Classic in Glen Ellyn on Friday.


    Glenbard East lowers the boom at Palatine

    The lower-weight strength of Glenbard East started an avalanche of key victories and helped provide a huge shot in the arm for the title hopes of the Rams after the first day of the 59th annual Berman Holiday Wrestling Classic on Friday at Palatine High School. Carlos Fuentes (106), Anfarnee Rodgers (120), Dayton Olson (126) and Jake Drew (132) opened the quarterfinals with victories for coach Kevin Carlson’s team to fuel a 66-point session and give the Rams 113 overall points. That’s 9.5 more than Class 2A power Oak Forest and 13 points better than defending champ Hinsdale Central (100). Lincoln-Way West (90) and East (85) rounded out the top five; action resumes at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.


    After easy win, Geneva turns focus to Neuqua

    Coaches prefer looking ahead to the next game rather than reflecting upon what has already happened. A few minutes after watching his team’s 63-35 victory over Hubbard in Friday’s second round of the 48th annual East Aurora Holiday Basketball Tournament, Geneva coach Phil Ralston talked about Saturday’s upcoming showdown with defending tourney champion Neuqua Valley (10-2).


    Geneva’s size sinks South Elgin

    Playing South Elgin for a second time this month gave Geneva’s girls basketball team a chance to see how its season is progressing. After going to overtime to win the first meeting, Geneva built a commanding 20-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 58-45 victory Friday at the Montini Christmas Tournament.


    Neuqua Valley shoots by Batavia

    Neuqua Valley made 29 of 32 free throws — including all 14 in the fourth quarter — to turn a tight game into a 71-57 victory over Batavia on Friday at the Montini Christmas Tournament.


    Maine South more aggressive than Bartlett

    Bartlett girls basketball coach Denise Sarna came away from her team’s second game at the 31st annual Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown believing the Hawks could have won — again. Instead, Bartlett goes into Saturday’s action with two straight losses. Maine South handed Bartlett a 54-45 consolation round loss Friday by being more aggressive than Bartlett in a matchup of the past two Charger Classic champions.


    Hankins’ buzzer-beater lifts South Elgin

    South Elgin coach Matt Petersen questioned his team’s shot selection at some points during the game, but there was no question about the last shot. A 2-footer by a 6-foot-8 guy is usually a sure thing, and Friday was no exception. Tyler Hankins made a layup at the buzzer to lift the Storm over Crystal Lake South, 60-59, in the consolation semifinal of the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs.

    Carmel’s Kathleen Felicelli makes a halfcourt shot at first-half buzzer over Palatine’s Morgan Radtke on Friday at Warren.

    Felicelli helps Carmel drive past Palatine

    Carmel senior Kathleen Felicelli deserved a free automobile for her play. But where were the witnesses? Her coach, Kelly Perz, wasn’t watching. Neither was assistant Roger Lass. Let’s go with 71 feet. That’s the estimated length of the shot Felicelli fired up at the last second before halftime in Saturday’s Blue Devil Classic game against Palatine in Gurnee. Felicelli led all scorers with 21 points. Seven of those points closed the second and third quarters. Her big day helped Carmel (12-2) stop Palatine 56-35.


    Prairie Ridge topples Bartlett

    With Bartlett leading Prairie Ridge 19-12 late in the first half, Wolves coach Corky Card called timeout and got in his players’ faces just a bit. Prairie Ridge responded with a 7-0 run to end the half. The Wolves carried that momentum into the second half, turning the tie game into a 60-39 win in the consolation round of the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs Friday afternoon.


    Rockford East drops Dundee-Crown

    The head boys basketball coaches from Dundee-Crown and Rockford East separately called their teams “their own worst enemy” in the aftermath of a mistake-strewn 46-41 victory for the E-Rabs at the 39th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament Friday afternoon.

    Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) missed Friday's practice due to tightness in his hip, but head coach Tom Thibodeau believes he'll be back soon.

    Noah misses Bulls practice, but Deng returns

    Joakim Noah missed Friday's practice because of a hip injury, while Luol Deng returned to practice after missing seven of the last 10 games wirth a sore left Achilles. Both players are questionable for Saturday when the Bulls host Dallas.

    Marshall’s Chris Jasperse, left, and Michael Selby congratulate teammate Essray Taliaferro after his touchdown against Maryland on Friday in the second half of the Military Bowl.

    Marshall beats Maryland in Military Bowl

    Rakeem Cato threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, and Marshall used two fourth-quarter scores to rally past Maryland 31-20 Friday in the Military Bowl.


    Notre Dame basketball player plans to transfer

    Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey says sophomore swingman Cam Biedscheid plans to transfer. Biedscheid had announced in November he planned to redshirt this season.

    Burlington Central's Kayla Ross attempts to block a shot by Dundee-Crown's Francesca Scarpelli in the second quarter on Friday, December 27. Dundee-Crown's Jesania Laboy on right.

    Images: Burlington Central vs. Dundee-Crown girls basketball
    Burlington Central and. Dundee-Crown competed in the Dundee-Crown girls basketball Christmas tournament at Dundee-Crown on Friday, Dec. 27.

    The emergence of Elena Delle Donne (11) changed the fortunes of the Chicago Sky, which made the WNBA playoffs for the first time and posted the franchise's first winning season.

    For women’s sports, 2013 loaded with great stories

    Patricia Babcock McGraw reviews the top women's sports stories of 2013, touching on international soccer, the LPGA, the WNBA, college volleyball, pro tennis and college basketbal.


    Wheeling earns consolation title appearance

    Wheeling topped Clark Prep 69-46 on Friday to earn a spot in Saturday's consolation championship game against Notre Dame.

    Images from the Carmel vs. Palatine girls basketball game on Friday, Dec. 27.

    Images: Carmel vs. Palatine girls basketball
    Carmel played Palatine at the Mundelein girls basketball tournament on Friday, Dec. 27.


    Stevenson superb in nixing New Trier

    Independent of the outcome, the details make a difference to the Stevenson boys basketball team this season. The Class 4A state runners-up from a year ago have big goals this season. So when they played to near perfection in building a 31-0 lead in a second round game of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament against New Trier, the Patriots weren’t about to let their foot off the pedal. “It’s our motto this year — everything matters,” said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. “No matter the situation, every play, every moment matters to us in achieving our goals.” The Patriots tied a tournament record by shutting out the Trevians in the first quarter and cruised to a 76-30 victory over New Trier.

    Bears kicker Robbie Gould smiles as he comes off the field after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens.

    Bears agree to 4-year extension with kicker Gould

    The Bears have agreed to a four-year contract extension with kicker Robbie Gould through the 2017 season, the team said Friday. “I thought it was important that I remain a Bear,” Gould said. “I think it means a lot for my career. I think it means a lot to be able to do some things down the road individually, but also I think, if I’m going to hold a trophy up, I want to hold it up with the Chicago Bears.”

    Nearly every winter sport holds a major competition in Utah each year. Salt Lake City is already exploring a bid for another Olympics.

    An Olympic city that did it right

    We’ve seen the sad pictures: weed-covered Olympic venues that were quickly of no use after their 2½ weeks of glory, largely abandoned after costing billions to build. Then there’s Salt Lake City, where the legacy of the 2002 Winter Games carries on vibrantly more than a decade later. It’s a lesson all cities bidding for big-time sporting events should heed.

    Quarterback Aaron Rodgers helped lead Green Bay to a 5-2 record before getting hurt Nov. 4 during the 27-20 loss to Chicago at Lambeau Field.

    Rodgers’ return opens up options for Packers

    The buffet line is open again for the Packers’ offense with Aaron Rodgers back. Coach Mike McCarthy has made a few adjustments to the playbook with the franchise quarterback back for the first time in nearly two months. “Well, it’s a lot like going to the restaurant. You have a menu. You decide what you want to use and what you probably shouldn’t use,” McCarthy said Friday about play-calling.

    Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) is congratulated by tackle Gosder Cherilus (78) following a field goal during the second half of Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Vinatieri chasing NFL’s 2,000-point club

    All Adam Vinatieri ever wanted was a chance to play in the NFL. When he finally finishes his remarkable career, he may go down as the best kicker in league history.

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker catches a pass for Peyton Manning’s 50th touchdown as Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson defends during the second half of Sunday’s game in Houston. The touchdown was upheld on replay.

    Phillips: NFL agrees 50th TD was a bobble

    Wade Phillips would like to put an asterisk on Peyton Manning’s touchdown record. The Houston Texans’ interim coach said Friday the league agreed with him that Manning’s record-tying 50th TD toss Sunday shouldn’t have counted because Eric Decker bobbled the ball.

    Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees passed for 2,938 yards with 27 touchdowns (highs) this season. He also threw 13 interceptions and completed 53.7 percent of his passes (lows).

    Pinstripe Bowl will close Rees’ ‘unique’ career

    The last time Tommy Rees played at Yankee Stadium, he got to use Derek Jeter’s locker and led Notre Dame to a victory against Army. That was 2010, and Rees was a freshman. Since then he’s been beaten out, benched, booed and suspended. He’s also been called on repeatedly to bail out the Fighting Irish when they have been in a jam, and come through more often than not.


    Huskers DE will miss Gator Bowl

    Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won’t play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo underwent treatment all week in hopes of playing against the Eagles, but his condition didn’t improve.

    Romo has back surgery, out for finale

    Tony Romo’s season is over, and the Dallas Cowboys will have to win without their star quarterback in a third straight winner-take-all finale. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo had back surgery Friday, and Kyle Orton will start when Dallas faces Philadelphia on Sunday night with the NFC East title and a playoff berth on the line.

    Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook recently had experienced increased swelling in his right knee.

    Westbrook out until after All-Star break

    Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and won’t return until after the All-Star break.

    Relief pitcher Jose Veras celebrates a 2-1 win over the White Sox on June 14 in Houston.

    Veras agrees to 1-year deal with Cubs

    The Chicago Cubs say they have agreed to a one-year contract with reliever Jose Veras that includes a club option for 2015. Veras was 0-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 67 games last season for the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers.


    Marquette freshman to redshirt

    Marquette freshman and key point guard recruit Duane Wilson will redshirt this season because of a left leg injury. Wilson missed most of the preseason after sustaining a stress fracture in mid-October.

    With 51 TD passes, Broncos QB Peyton Manning directed many fantasy football teams into the playoffs and to league titles. He was voted this season’s fantasy football MVP by Daily Herald readers.

    Fantasy football: Manning, Jeffery head awards

    The fantasy football awards are in. See who won MVP, Biggest Surprise and more ...

    Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas appeared on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter. They received votes from all four of Daily Herald’s electors.

    Our baseball Hall of Fame voters cast their ballots

    The National Baseball Hall of Fame allows voters to list up to 10 candidates on the yearly ballot. This year’s ballot includes three new names whom many feel are surefire first-ballot Hall of Famers: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine. Even without the “steroid guys,” it’s a crowded ballot with many worthy players to consider. Here's how Bruce Miles, Scot Gregor, Mike Imrem and Barry Rozner voted.

    Morgan Dahlstrom

    Girls basketball: Week 4 MVPs

    Grayslake Central’s Morgan Dahlstrom has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent girls basketball performances.

    Austin Rogers

    Boys basketball: Week 4 MVPs

    Crystal Lake South senior Austin Rogers has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent boys basketball performances.


    After-Christmas sales drew suburban shoppers to Woodfield Mall Friday.

    Shoppers return to stores for post-holiday bargains

    Suburban shoppers eager to take advantage of post-holiday sales and clearance racks continued to swarm retailers Friday. Those who had to return Christmas gifts had the perfect excuse to also line up at cash registers for discounts of 40 to 75 percent. Among the bargain hunters was Rob Stern of Algonquin, who bought a leather jacket marked down from $100 to $40 at Sears.

    Associated Press/Dec. 19, 2013 A passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. Target on Friday said that customers’ encrypted PIN data was removed during the data breach that occurred earlier this month. But the company says it believes the PIN numbers are still safe.

    Target: Customers’ PINs were stolen, but encrypted

    Security experts say it’s the second-largest theft of card accounts in U.S. history, surpassed only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos.

    Filipino traders cheer in front of the electronic board Friday during the last day of trading this year at the Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose to a record high of 7,403.65.

    Stocks end day mostly flat in quiet trading

    Even with Friday’s pause, the stock market has been in rally mode heading into the end of the year. The Dow and S&P 500 are up 2.4 percent and 2 percent respectively so far in December, with only two trading days left in the year. For 2013, the S&P 500 is up roughly 29 percent, its best year since 1997, and the Dow is up 25.8 percent, its best year since 1996.


    $42.5 million approved for Chicago's Circle Interchange

    More money has been approved to redo Chicago's Circle Interchange. Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday that he has released $42.5 million for the ongoing project. The total cost of the four-year project is $475 million. The latest money will pay for a bridge at Halsted and Harrison streets and new approaches.

    The Drake Hotel's bright, gothic-scripted sign has been renovated. Now, instead of neon, it's made with LED lights that shine light purple instead of pink.

    Chicago's Drake Hotel gets new lighted sign

    One of the more noticeable sites along Chicago's Lake Shore Drive has gotten a face lift.WBEZ radio reports that the Drake Hotel's bright, gothic-scripted sign has been renovated. Now, instead of neon, it's made with LED lights that shine light purple instead of pink.Drake Hotel property director Hank Hawerbier says it was getting difficult to maintain the old sign. He says letters would short out because of ice, strong winds and rain.

    Javier Acosta, chef and owner of Parthenon restaurant, in his restaurant in Havana, Cuba.

    Lack of customers dooms many Cuban businesses

    The dented metal pizza trays are packed away, so too the old blender that never worked when it was needed. Gone is the sweet smell of rising dough that infused Julio Cesar Hidalgo's Havana apartment when he and his girlfriend were in business for themselves, churning out cheesy pies for hungry costumers.

    The shadow of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is cast on a wall as she speaks at the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit. A month after President Barack Obama announced people could keep insurance policies slated for cancellation under the federal health overhaul, the reversal has gotten a mixed response from insurers, state regulators and consumers.

    Obama reversal on health plan gets mixed reviews

    President Barack Obama’s decision a month ago that allowed people to keep insurance policies once slated for cancellation under the federal health overhaul has received a mixed response from insurers, state regulators and consumers. In pitching the overhaul, Obama had long promised that people who liked their policies could keep them. But many consumers complained upon getting notification from their insurers in October and November that their individual policies would be canceled.

    At least one Illinois resident has joined those suing Target after the retail giant disclosed hackers stole millions of customer accounts.

    Suit filed in Chicago over Target security breach

    At least one Illinois resident has joined those suing Target after the retail giant disclosed hackers stole millions of customer accounts. Chicago-area woman Chandra McPherson is the named plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Chicago. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states.

    Takeda’s Deerfield facilities.

    Takeda shares drop after scrapping development of diabetes drug

    Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s largest drugmaker with U.S. headquarters in Deerfield, scrapped development of a diabetes drug after failing to show the medicine’s benefit outweighed its risk. The stock tumbled.Takeda terminated the development of TAK-875 after it was linked to liver damage, the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The decision was made after consulting with three independent panels on what the trials showed about the drug’s safety, the Osaka-based company said.The drugmaker now has one less candidate in development to succeed Actos, once the world’s best-selling diabetes medicine, and buffer a decline in sales from cheaper generics. Takeda has been acquiring rivals and stakes in drugs and hiring senior executives from overseas to expand internationally.“The company has reached the conclusion that, on balance, the benefits of treating patients with fasiglifam do not outweigh the potential risks,” Takeda said, referring to TAK-875 by its generic name. “Takeda is working with trial investigators and local regulatory authorities to ensure that patients who participated in the fasiglifam trials are transitioned to appropriate therapies.”Takeda slumped 5.2 percent, the most since May 10, to 4,835 yen at the close in Tokyo trading. The stock was the biggest decliner on the Topix Index, which rose 0.8 percent.Final PhaseTakeda’s diabetes pill was in the third and final phase of patient studies in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The medicine is in a new group of diabetes drugs called GPR40 agonists, which aim to stimulate insulin secretion in the pancreas.Actos faced generic competition in August 2012. Sales of the drug peaked in the year ended March 2011 at 387.9 billion yen ($3.7 billion) for Takeda and accounted for 27 percent of its revenue at that time.In January, Takeda won U.S. regulatory approval for a new treatment for diabetes called alogliptin, five years after its initial application. The approval was delayed as the regulators asked for more data on cardiovascular risks.Takeda projects to report net income of 95 billion yen in the year ending March, the lowest level in 15 years. The company forecasts “mid single-digit” annual revenue growth through 2017 and annual operating-profit growth of 20 percent or more over the same period. It aims to cut annual costs by 100 billion yen by 2017, partly by reducing its workforce.


    Alderman to sponsor job fair for Chicago brewery

    Chicago Alderman Jason Ervin is hosting a job fair for a craft-beer brewery that is opening in Chicago. Ervin says the Lagunitas Brewing Company is in the process of opening a state-of-the-art brewery in Chicago. The company is hiring for all positions.

    Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer glitch Thursday and scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines.

    Delta to honor extremely cheap mistake fares

    Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer glitch Thursday and scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines. From about 10 a.m. to noon ET, certain Delta fares on the airline’s own website and other airfare booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering some savvy bargain hunters incredible deals.

Life & Entertainment

    Former NBC “Today” show co-hosts Jane Pauley, left, and Bryant Gumbel, share the camera during the morning show’s 50th anniversary in New York. NBC says that Pauley and Gumbel will join Matt Lauer for Monday’s show on Dec. 30.

    Pauley, Gumbel to reunite on NBC’s ‘Today’

    The “Today” show is ending the year on a nostalgic note. NBC says that former “Today” anchors Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel will join Matt Lauer for Monday’s show. Gumbel left the morning program in 1997 after 15 years, and Pauley exited in 1989 after a 13-year tenure. They were co-anchors for seven years.

    Phil Robertson was suspended from “Duck Dynasty” for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people but was reinstated by the A&E network in a statement Friday.

    A&E reverses ‘Duck Dynasty’ decision

    The A&E channel said it’s reversing its decision to drop “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson from the show for his remarks about gays. In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and “numerous advocacy groups.”

    This theater image released by Jeffrey Richards Associates shows Cherry Jones, left, and Zachary Quinto during a performance of “The Glass Menagerie.” There’s magic from start to finish in this new production of Tennessee William’s great play about regret starring a superb Cherry Jones and a revelatory Zachary Quinto. It’s evocative, sometimes surreal and sublimely organic _ the perfect package for a play about faded and frayed memories.

    The AP picks its Top 10 theater of 2013

    This year’s best-in-theater list is overstuffed: There are revolting children, classic plays and circus acrobats. There are two knights playing two clowns and plenty of cross-dressers, as well as a guy in a one-man show, which somehow also features Barbra Streisand. Even a production that never actually made it onstage gets some applause. What? Our Top 10 list of the best in theater in 2013.

    Benedict Cumberbatch’s face was inescapable this year, but he was invisible in his best performance of 2013.

    From Cumberbatch to Targaryen: The best of 2013

    Sean doesn’t have a top-ten list, but he does have a look at a few of his favorite things from all corners of pop culture in 2013.

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, stars as a kidnapped free black man in

    Fact-based dramas lead Dann's best movies of 2013

    This year, all of Dann's top 10 films earned four stars, establishing 2013 as the best year of the new millennium so far. Here are the ones that made the cut. Several movies are fact-based works. Many can still be seen in theaters, exactly where they should be seen. (Could Satan be behind movies on phones, iPads and other devices that diminish the quality of the silver screen experience?)

    Castaldo Park, located near Winston Hills in Woodridge, hosts community events throughout the year and boasts a playground, volleyball court and disc golf course.

    Winston Hills boasts charm, friendly neighbors

    Jerry and Cati Heinrich moved to a home in Woodridge’s Winston Hills almost 23 years ago after overcoming several personal hardships — most with the support and help of people in the neighborhood. “People opened their arms for us with such kindness. ... This is what endears us to Woodridge."

    In “American Hustle,” Christian Bale, left, rocks an elaborate comb-over, complete with fuzzy, glue-on hairpiece. Amy Adams’ dress is vintage Halston. For accessories, her glasses are vintage Christian Dior, her handbag is Gucci, and shoes are vintage. And Bradley Cooper’s suit, tie, shirt, belt and glasses are all vintage.

    ‘American Hustle’ a portrait of swank ’70s fashion

    From Christian Bale’s burgundy velour blazer to Amy Adams’ plunging sequin halter dress, “American Hustle” is a cinematic romp through the over-the-top styles of the 1970s. Set in New York and New Jersey in 1978, the film tells the story of a pair of con artists (Bale and Adams) forced to work for a cocky FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) bent on bringing down powerbrokers and politicians. This decadent world of power, crime and big money comes to life through ostentatious fashions and outrageous hairdos.

    People walk by the Templo de Debod in Madrid. It is one of very few early Egyptian temples visible outside that country and was given to Spain in 1960 in a bid to save it from flood damage when the Aswan dam was built across the Nile.

    5 free things in Madrid, from symphonies to art

    Spain has for decades been among the world’s top tourist destinations, mainly thanks to sun-seekers who flock each year to Mediterranean beaches or the Canary Islands. The Spanish capital has always appealed to fun-lovers as well as travelers with an interest in history and culture. While top-end hotels and restaurants are expensive, it comes as a relief to find that some of Madrid’s best features can be enjoyed for free.

    A silver bell hangs from the finger of the statue of Jimmy Stewart outside the county courthouse in Indiana, Pa. A museum dedicated to the star of “It’s A Wonderful Life” is located in the off-the-beaten-track town where Stewart grew up.

    Jimmy Stewart museum rebounds from adversity

    For a time it looked like the Jimmy Stewart Museum wasn’t going to make it. It’s in the actor’s hometown of Indiana, Penn. — an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh and off the radar of many fans who might want to attend. And the pool of fans is shrinking as those who grew up during the era of Stewart’s films die out. But the outlook has improved, at least for the next few years, thanks to loyal fans who began sending donations as the word got out about the plight of the museum.

    Cecil Jones stars in Black Ensemble Theater's “It's All-Right to Have a Good Time: The Story of Curtis Mayfield.”

    Theater events: Black Ensemble extends 'Curtis Mayfield'

    Black Ensemble Theater has extended its original production of “It's All-Right to Have a Good Time: The Story of Curtis Mayfield.” Stage 773 invites revelers to celebrate 2014 at a Monster's Ball featuring music, dancing and a haunted theater tour.

    Tim Kjenstad, of Henderson, Nev., runs in Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, Calif. Death Valley National Park is putting the brakes on ultramarathons and other extreme sports events that involve running and cycling until rangers can determine how safe it is to hold those competitions in a place that records the hottest temperatures on Earth.

    Death Valley puts brakes on running, cycling races

    It’s the hottest, hardest, most grueling foot race in the world, says Shannon Farar-Griefer, who has run the Badwater 135 ultramarathon through Death Valley five times. The race takes the bravest of runners 135 miles through the hottest place on Earth in the middle of the summer. Next year, for the first time in 27 years, runners won’t be able to tackle the Badwater 135. Death Valley National Park recently put a moratorium on foot and cycling races through the desert hot spot 200 miles east of Los Angeles while they study ways to make the events safer.

    AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews Marc Cohen, 5, uses a Sesame Street app on his tablet at home in New York.

    Tablets a hit with kids, but experts worry

    Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them. And that has some pediatricians and other health experts worried. Some experts note there’s no evidence that screen time — whether from a TV or tablet — provides any educational or developmental benefits for babies and toddlers.

    Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and director Martin Scorsese took on an ambitious project with “The Wolves of Wall Street.”

    Marty and Leo team up again for ‘Wolf’

    “Anything goes” was the guiding ethos for Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in making their extravagant dark comedy of Wall Street excess, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” “We would look at each other and ask, `Are we going too far?”’ says DiCaprio. Rarely was the answer “yes.”


    An petition drive to amend the state constitution is underway in Illinois. The amendment would change how legislative maps are drawn.

    Editorial: What a fairer map process looks like

    Illinois should look to other states that have adopted a more fair redistricting process, a Daily Herald editorial says.

    Nat Hentoff

    Lessons from the jazz masters beyond music

    Columnist Nat Hentoff: Two of my main passions — in work as well as in the rest of my life — are jazz and the Constitution, which interact. Jazz, banned by Hitler and Stalin, is America’s great contribution of free expression globally, and, as Supreme Court Justice William Brennan once told me, “The First Amendment’s freedom of speech protects all the rest of our liberties.”


    Auto bailouts failed the taxpayers
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: The federal government in bold letters informed the taxpayers that their money used to bail out General Motors and Chrysler saved 1.5 million jobs in 2009. Further, the taxpayers were able to preserve $105 billion in personal and social insurance tax collections.


    Clarifying the First Amendment
    A West Chicago letter to the editor: In his Dec 17 column “Picking fights over religion”, writer Gene Lyons makes some errors and misleading comments, the most notable of which I’d like to correct.


    Is new mantra ‘armed at any cost?’
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: May I ask what solution the NRA and those of like mind have as a solution to the kids who kill? We know that the mantra is “enforce the laws on the books.” So what law do we invoke to stop the kids who kill with guns?


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